A wonderfully designed and organized training program or an academic curriculum without the right “quality content” is like offering a great packaging for a mediocre product. The content is what nourishes the soul of a participant and thus needs paramount focus. Before the development of content, a definite need has to be established for which the training program is being conducted. This is normally not an issue in the training process. The design also is well developed, which creates the needed confidence in a training manager. However, the content and delivery at times are not in line with the objectives that the workshop needs to accomplish. Following is the methodology of creating great content:
1. Define the goals and objectives of a workshop very precisely. This is an uphill task. It needs an in-depth assessment of the situational gaps. Ideally, a good tool needs to be developed for ascertaining the goals and objectives. A goal is a specific aim while objectives are tactics that we use to achieve this goal. Too many goals can create confusion in content development. If you wish to integrate the goals, see the linkages. Disconnected non-conjoint goals can wreck the content.
2. Objectives determine the development process of the content. List the objectives clearly and prioritize them in terms of intensity and frequency with which they need to be treated in a workshop. Incorrect objectives will give a confusing message to the consumer of the content.
3. Understand the constraints under which the content needs to be developed. The simple formula is first you tell “them” what you wish to tell them. Then you tell “them”. In the end, you tell them what you told “them.” Look at the constraints of cultural sensitivity, comprehension dynamics, depth of treatment, and understand that the content needs to cater to primary senses like visual, feelings, and hearing. In a training process observation and hearing creates a significant impact.
4. The content can be a PowerPoint presentation, case studies, manuals, journals, etc. The constraints and risks of each, need to be assessed which requires a professional content development approach. The said tools are a few alternatives that can be taken in various training processes. E-learning tools success purely lies in the creative ability of a content developer.
5. A validation process is crucial in the content development process, and thus the content can undergo numerous iterations.
It is needless to mention that the content needs to be vibrant, flawless, and beautifully presented. It is thus art and science. Experience plays a crucial role in the development of content and is undoubtedly an area of expertise. Thus, it is not a surprise that organizations invest in in-house content developers and outsourced agencies for this most important and effective aspect of knowledge up-gradation and documentation.